In an interview with Israel Radio on Tuesday, Minister-without-portfolio Moshe Ya'alon said he stands behind a controversial statement he made in August, when he called "Peace Now and the elites" a "virus."
Speaking at an August political event hosted by prominent right-winger Moshe Feiglin, the vice premier had voiced his opposition to leftist factions in Israel, and said that "Jews can and should live in every part of the land of Israel forever."
During Tuesday's radio interview, Ya'alon stressed that while he stood behind his August statement, he had not meant to target "specific people or organizations, but rather the phenomenon" which he said was "growing within us."
Ya'alon stated that peace was still his goal, stressing that "dialogue is the only way" and that he was "willing to speak with every group, Jew or Arab."
Ya'alon's interviewer Yaron Dekel wished him "a safe trip to wherever you can go," in an apparent reference to the vice premier's recently canceled UK visit.